A Krug Unforgettable Journey at Jann

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“To enjoy Krug, you have to understand that there is no hierarchy in our wines,” said Olivier Krug recently at dinner held at Jaan. “We make two cuvées and they both get the same care. True, one cuvée may be more expensive because it’s a single expression of one year and it is rarer.”

The affable and well spoken Krug continued, “When we make a cuvée, it is the ‘blend of the best’  and it is re-created each year – you realise that it is never the same each year but the best possible quality that exhibits the full spectrum of flavours.  Unlike other houses, we ferment as many as 250 different grower plots separately. We taste each of the ‘plots’ and added to that, 150 other reserve wines (as old as 15 years) each year –  to create (blend up) the best possible cuvée each year. This is unlike many others who ferment all that they obtain from various growers/vineyards together.”

He explained, “Cuvée 1 is the Grand Cuvée which we have been making since 1948. Cuvée 2 or the Krug Vintage – composed of wines from a single year which is the ‘fullest expression of the year’. And there’s the single plot wines. After tasting plots for the cuvées, my ancestor/great great great grandfather Joseph Krug noticed that quality of the wine from the single vineyard (over eight years) was consistently good / special and one day decided to keep it aside and bottle it – hence the Clos Du Mesnil.  We also have a Clos d’Ambonnay (single vintage, single vineyard) and a Rosé.”

As we savoured our dinner over various bottles –  Clos du Mesnil 2002 and 2003, Krug 2003, Krug Grand Cuvée and Krug Rosé, Olivier Krug left us with with a few updates (he was heading off to the post launch party of Singapore’s Michelin guide)…

“Music and champagne go so well together – we realised that there is an increasing amount of research recognizing the considerable changes hearing can make to the tasting experience, such as the work carried out by Charles Spence and Janice Qian Wang of Oxford University’s Crossmodal Research Laboratory. As such, we are collaborating with various musicians to pair music with our wines.”

“We are very pleased about our Krug iD, a six-digit number on the back label of each bottle, allows you to identify your bottle by revealing its unique story, as told by our Krug Cellar Master. You just need to enter the Krug iD online, via krug.com or the Krug App!”

“A little advice – please do not use the flute- drinking Champagne from a flute is like going to an opera and using earplugs. Instead, enjoy your champagne in a white Burgundy wine glass or our ‘Joseph’ glass. See you in Champagne soon!”

 

My notes:

Clos du Mesnil 2002 – butter, caramel, velvety mousse, long with mandarin orange peel, pomegranate, buah duku and finishing with smoke and lime nuances

Clos du Mesnil 2003 – smoke, vanilla toast, lon gmid paate, minerals and complex with slightly bigger bubbles and a bittersweet big long finish

Rosé – salmon pink, complex nose with a delicate mousse and velvety texture. Small red fruit, minerals, chalk, mangosteens and long.

Bruno Paillard launches the Rosé NPU 2003 in Singapore

Mr. Bruno Paillard, unlike other Champenoise, started his estate only in 1981, at the age of 27 and with a fistful of French Francs (about 15,000 Euros, I believe). He did come from a family with a connection to the land – they were brokers and growers in the two Grands Crus villages of Bouzy and Verzenay, dating back to 1704.

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Paillard, over a lunch at les Amis, described Champagne’s terroir, “… it’s the savoir faire of the producers and growers combined with the unique conditions – Nordic climate, sealife sediment in the soils and four marked seasons – that makes Champagne what it is.”

“The term ‘Non-Vintage’ sounds so negative. I prefer the term MV or ‘Multi-Vintage’ and you could say we were the first to use this term. It best describes how we make our wine – We use a solera style system of reserve wines so every wine you get is a blend of older vintages. To do this well, we store our reserves cuvee by cuvee rather than by vineyard. We also age our wine longer than most other houses,” states Paillard.  “Naturally, all our wines carry the date of ‘degorgement’,” he continued.

Champagne aficionados will be familiar with N.P.U. – another term that Paillard came up with. In latin, N.P.U. or ‘Nec Plus Ultra’ means ‘there is nothing beyond’. Certainly a highly ambitious statement.

Bruno Paillard’s first NPU was a 1990, released in 2002.  Only Grands Cru village grapes are selected; first pressings are only used,  the wine was aged in small oak barrels and the wine is matured in the bottle, on lees for at least a decade; after which the wine is returned to the cellar following degorgement. Hence an NPU is always at least 12 years old. Whilst NPU wines made to date have been ultra-luxurious elegant and complex champagnes (11,000 bottles and 500 magnums for each issue), 2016 marks the release of a magnificent rosé – the N.P.U. 2003.

Only 826 bottles of the N.P.U. Rosé 2003 were produced.  The wine is sumptuous and sublime – with aromas of red berries, spices and candied fruit and a generous broad palate and minerals.

Available at Vinum.